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Brown Withdraws from U.S. Nationals Due to Back Injury

Determined as ever to get back in the game and is positive about the future

 by Liz Leamy

Jason Brown at 2015 Skate America

Colorado Springs (8 January 2016)  Jason Brown, the reigning U.S. champion, announced yesterday that he will not be competing at the U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota later this month due to a back injury that had occurred in November, just several days prior to the NHK Trophy in Japan, which had also caused him to withdraw from that International Skating Union Grand Prix event.

Although this news is a bit disappointing, as Brown, a huge fan favorite who was the 2014 U.S. silver medalist, a 2014 U.S. Olympic team member and placed fourth at the 2015 World Championships in Shanghai, it is a necessary move in regard to the ‘big picture’ so he can effectively keep moving forward in his competitive journey.

“I try to be as positive as I can,” said Brown in a conference call. “My main focus is just to be healthy.”

Brown, 21, has become reputed to be one of the most popular competitors on the U.S. and international competitive skating scene due to his exuberance, artistry and terrific technical skills, is most importantly, looking at the big picture.

“I want to constantly build,” said Brown, a Highland Park, Illinois native who trains in Monument Park, Colorado with his longtime coach, Kori Ade and choreographer, Rohene Ward. “[We always want] to see where we are and how to map out things over the next couple of years.”

Regarded to be one of the most upbeat, genuine and enthusiastic contenders on the elite circuit, Brown, no doubt, appears as if he will get past this impasse without too much ado, due to his positive, logical and determined manner.

“I need more time before getting back on the ice,” he said. “[My back] flared up and we had to do something about it. I’m just trying to take it step by step.”

Back in November, when Brown’s back first flared up, he had taken two weeks off, during which he worked daily with a physical therapist and also rested to help expedite the healing process.

Recently, when Brown was on the ice training for Nationals, the strain flared up again, prompting him and his entire coaching team to sit down and figure out the best plan in regard to this unexpected situation.

Although it is disappointing that Brown will not be competing in St. Paul, in the long run, it is the right thing to do in terms of his physical condition so that he is in prime form heading toward the 2018 Olympics in Korea.

“Each year I’m trying new things on the ice and am constantly trying to elevate all aspects of my skating,” said Brown, who earlier this season, had scored bronze at Skate America in Wisconsin, first at the Ondrej Nepala Trophy in Czechoslovakia and first in the Ice Challenge team event.

Brown also said the injury wasn’t necessarily the result of all the high impact accrued as a result of working so intensively on the quad this past year.

“I try not to pinpoint [the injury] to one specific thing,” said Brown, adding the quad is “something that is part of the sport and is part of the next step, the next step I need to take.”

Last summer, Brown also worked with Vincent Restencourt, a former French medalist and World competitor, to help increase the strength and quality of all his triples and also help to get him the quad, a pursuit that seems to have been beneficial, as his scores at international events last fall were substantial, while he also started including a quad, although still in its new stages, in his free skate programs.

Although Brown will not be skating at Nationals, he is eligible to petition for a spot on the U.S. World team, according to U.S. Figure Skating rules.

The most important thing for this skater, however, is that he makes a full recovery so that his terrific show can continue going on as he no doubt, is a huge presence in the sport today.